30 November 2011

Dinner



Wow, I haven't posted about our meals plans in a little while. So here we go, here are our meals for this week.

Bacon & eggs
Chilli prawn pizza
Butterflied whole chicken (rubbed w/sambal, olive oil and garlic) with roast potatoes and vegies
Kangaroo steak with salad and steamed vegies
Chicken schnitzel with corn and salad
Teriyaki salmon w/ asparagus
Thai beef salad
Nothing new again for us, all pretty standard in our house.

What are you having for dinner this week?

{image}

29 November 2011

Reading right now



Paper Flow - MaryAnne Bennie & Brigitte Hinneburg. This book tells me it is my "ultimate guide to making paperwork easy" and man, I need some help.


Planning with Kids - Nicole Avery. Nicole also writes the excellent blog of the same name. She has some brilliant suggestions. With five kids, I figure she definitely has a very good idea of what works!


The Dice Man - Luke Rhinehart. The story of a man who lets the dice decide his life. I've always wanted to read this book after a former work colleague mentioned it as his favourite book ever. Big call. I'm not hooked yet!


Game of Thrones - George RR Martin. I used to love science fiction and fantasy but I've been out of the genre for years. My dear friend Laura recommended this series - I'm slowly getting in to it.


Treasury - Maeve Binchy. Ahh, I love a bit of Maeve. This is a huge book of over 40 of Maeve's short stories, set around the world. I was never a fan of short stories and so I avoid picking them up. I couldn't resist Maeve, and this book has been perfect for reading when I can snatch a few moments - a few pages and I'm usually interrupted. These short stories are ideal - a few pages and I can put it down, back in to what ever I need to be doing!


Womens Health magazine is tucked under the bottom of the pile. I needed something to read while eating my lunch at work and I thought that this should at least inspire me, rather than reading trash gossip mags!


What are you reading at the moment? Do you have any recommendations for me?

28 November 2011

Instagram

I love photography. I particularly love taking photographs of my children, but capturing life as we live it has become so important to me. I’ve spoken about Instagram previously, and seriously, I’m addicted.

Photography, and more recently Instagram, have shown me just how to look around, open my eyes and see beauty and life simply surrounding me. Instead of being annoyed by the setting sun in my eyes as I drive home from work, I see sun flare, reflections, gorgeous cloud patterns and rays of light. Instead of weeds in a car park, I see green angular patterns. Instead of an eclectic breakfast, I see the shapes, colour and choices my daughter makes.

I think Instagram has replaced Facebook for me as my social media of choice recently. If you’re on Instagram, I’d love to see your photos. I’m @blythe_life over there.

A few Instagram shots of my boy:

25 November 2011

Slip & slide


As a kid, I used to adore the summer slip & slide. Ours was just a sheet of black cladding plastic, cut lengthways and placed down a slope. Add the hose and some washing liquid and we loved it!

My cousin and her husband bought this cool slip & slide for the kids when they visited recently. You just attach the hose, turn it on and it sprinkles you as you slide. It even fills up a little bouncy landing area, with more spurting water as you hit it. So much fun!

I love that they will also keep the slip & slide as part of their summer memories. Did you have a slip & slide?

24 November 2011

Sunday afternoon play


Sunday afternoons are a little bit too busy at our place. We iron for the week ahead, finish up any cooking and prep for meals, cook dinner, pack bags and generally get ready for the week.

The kids love to "help". This includes useful activities such as pulling all the stored toys out of boxes in the garage while I'm ironing, trying to touch the iron, emptying kindy bags that I have just packed, taking down all the folded clothes from their cupboards and just fighting with each other.

This Sunday afternoon I pulled out the home made playdough and the bags of dyed pasta and rice. The coloured pasta and rice have been mixed with lentils, split peas and un-dyed pasta in previous play sessions. A bowl and a wooden spoon each (exactly the same colour and size, trying to limit the bickering) and they sat down to play, feel, touch and create. Oh, and make mess!

I let them go a little crazy and hoped that the toads wouldn't mind a little food colouring when they ate up the pieces we missed during clean up!

23 November 2011

I love the green stuff

We spend a silly amount of money buying fresh herbs. My mum's amazing green thumb (she's a horticulturalist!) has definitely skipped me and so all my efforts wilt and fail.

We just love fresh herbs in our meals, and so we were so happy to receive huge bunches of herbs from two friends and my mum recently. We had so many, we've tried freezing them for the first time.


Don't you just love our speckled avocado green laminex bench? So stylish.




Do you freeze leftover fresh herbs? Does it work for you? Any freezing tips? And what am I doing wrong, why can't I grow these fabulous plants?

22 November 2011

The way he cups my face


When he wants to tell me something, he holds my face in both his hands and turns my head towards him. I adore this little gesture.

Walking with my little guy, his tiny hand in mine, he trusts me, we cross the road together.

He wakes early... 4.58am this morning. Here in Queensland, with no daylight savings, that means it is brilliantly sunny and almost hot. He calls “Mummy, Mummy, Mummy”, and when I get in there, he is busily draping his sheet up on the side of the cot, just like I do. He grabs his dov (bear) and puppy and I stumble back to our room. He lies between us, cuddling to me, sucking his thumb. Always sucking his thumb. He’s usually only still for a few minutes and then he begins bouncing around.

The little man has toilet trained so very, very easily. Just a couple of accidents but now he runs to the toilet and even stands up to pee. To be honest, we really didn’t do anything! He just gets it, and knows when he needs to go. Little boy undies are just so sweet, I love them!

He still loves balls, tractors, bikes, scooters, diggers and skateboards. He loves Fireman Sam. He also likes princesses. He can kick a ball better than I can.

He copies his big sister, smacks her and loves her. She loves him, smacks him and becomes highly annoyed with him.

He is still tiny, wearing some size 0 clothes, but he’s moved up in to the big boy world of size 1 for most clothes. I really do need to buy him some size 2 singlets for summer. He loves his ugly Crocs.

His blue, blue eyes are slowly turning green. I have a yellow ring around my pupils and he is developing this ring also – and we all know blue + yellow = green.

He is so funny and he spends so much of his day laughing and finding mischief. He lies quietly on the floor, zooming cars, readinng books. But more often, he is running, jumping and laughing. Loudly.

He has some favourite little friends at kindy, Maurice and Casey. He loves our friend Elsie, he adores her actually. Well, we all do. We adore her mum too – and he just gravitates towards them both.

He likes to join in on craft activities but mere seconds after I set him up, I usually find him drawing or painting on the table, window or wall.

He took apart a wooden train and uses the base as a skateboard. He makes me laugh. I love him so.

21 November 2011

point + shoot {weekend la la}

Ahh, summer weekends. Well, technically spring, but wow, it was hot! Just a little too much sun this weekend. I had one particular spot on my back which missed out on sunscreen both days and I'm really feeling it now. The beach was just divine on Saturday morning and our girl braved her fears and rode some waves for the first time! So proud of her. She loved it and so did Itay, they were both grinning and even when she fell off, she was OK with it.

Here she is just loving her Aba. He's telling her a story while they lay on the sand.


The fruit montser - rahhhhhhhhh!

Sushi for dinner. Visit from my Dad. Another birthday party by a pool. Afternoon naps. Cooking. Sorting out the small girl's pink pink pink clothes. And that was the weekend!

What did you get up to?

Joining in with point + shoot over here.

19 November 2011

Reading right now


Here's another pile of books I've been reading.

The Possibility of Everything by Hope Edelman. She also wrote Motherless Daughters. I didn't particularly enjoy this book. It's written around a trip she and her family made to Beliza, to take their three year old daughter to Mayan healers. This was to help banish  a disruptive imaginary friend that the little girl was holding on to. Interesting but I wasn't held fast by this one.

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova. Wow, an extremely fascinating story of an extremely busy career woman experiencing a car crash, and as a result of this crash, suffering a condition called Left Neglect. The left side of her life just didn't exist. I had to research this condition after reading the book. The body and the brain is just so truly amazing. This is the author who wrote Still Alice, a very interesting story of a woman suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s.
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. This book has been in my life for quite a few years, as I gave this actual book to my mum. We swap it back and forth between us as we feel the need for it.

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. Chick lit. Love this guy! He wrote Nights in Rodanthe, The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, Dear John... All are also gorgeous movies in the chick flick genre.

Tea with Arwa by Arwa el Masri. This book is written by the wife of the football player Hazem el Masri. I enjoyed reading the story of her life, falling in love with her husband and taking the veil by choice.

Real Living magazine. Just love.

Not pictured is the Rhythm of Family by Amanda Soule and her husband. I'm a faithful reader of her blog, SouleMama.

What are you reading at the moment? Any recommendations?

18 November 2011

Right now

I haven't been posting much lately. Despite my best efforts, I'm still not feeling creative and not even able to write about not feeling creative! I've also been fighting a bit of a cough and cold, which has in turn become laryngytis... Not so good for someone who needs to talk to people as part of my job!

Speaking of my job, I've recently added a bit of a different element to my position. It's been a great few weeks so far, although the slight extension in hours and brain usage has tired me out a bit more than usual! I'm enjoying a variety of tasks and it really is keeping me very busy.

Our weekends feel like they are packed with birthday parties, we've been to so many recently. We still have a few more scheduled in over the next couple of weeks, too!

I have been finding a bit of time to enjoy life outside work, whcih has been lovely. I experienced a Gold Class movie for the first time and enjoyed my buffalo wings and a drink with the girls from work, I had a pedicure with a darling friend and home made pizza at home with more darling friends.

I wonder what I used to actually do with my time before we had kids... This morning I managed to sneak in a load of washing, some dinner prep, kindy drop off, grocery shopping, home to put the cold food away, all before 9am and now work. Then tonight I'm off to see Edward Breaking Dawn again tonight with another friend.

I'll leave you with a photo. Of Edward. Just because, I'm like, you know, a Twi-hard. Can't help my teenage self.

16 November 2011

Breaking Dawn

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m 37, but feel like I’m 17. I’m counting the hours until the premiere of Breaking Dawn... I think Edward is ridiculously sexy. The Twilight saga is the first series of books I have ever bought. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve bought books before (and if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I read, read, read), but a series? I love it. I’m a 17 year old at heart.


There. It’s out. I’m proud.

Still going to read?!

I don’t actually find Robert Pattinson all that attractive in “real life” and I’m not particularly interested in any of them out of the movie. But Edward? Ohhh... Edward. I make myself laugh and surely that’s a good thing.

Breaking Dawn! Midnight! Tonight!

Wish I had a pretty picture to add in here but my computer is not playing. So just image a pale, sparkly vampire boy. Sigh.

14 November 2011

Country kids

A couple of weeks ago, we headed down the coast to visit some beautiful friends. They live out on a big property, across a creek, through a gate, down the road. It's gorgeous. Home made dark chocolate chip cookies. Rain. Tea, made with lemon balm grabbed fresh from the garden. Sunshine. Humidity. Kids in gumboots. Foraging for wild raspberries. Crossing creeks. One little boy's bum in the creek. Bare bottom boy with gumboots (seriously, nothing cuter!). Collecting herbs and vegetables. Two eggs, warm from the chickens.
Driving away, bumping down the road. Lessons in "gate etiquette" for the kids. "Mum, can we come back soon?". Yes, definitely.





11 November 2011

Craft girl

I know I mention this quite a bit, but seriously, my girl is simply obsessed with craft and art. Non stop glitter, paint, glue, staples, scissors, paper and fierce looks of concentration.


8 November 2011

Pizza!

We love making our food from scratch, knowing what goes in to our food and enjoying the tweaking process to perfect a recipe. I had never attempted a pizza base though... dough kind of scares me. Itay made some pitot (plural of pita) a while ago, which were semi-successful. But hard!

So, an easy two ingredient pizza base. This one has been going around the interwebs, but I thought - seriously, just two ingredients? Then I found a pizza recipe named something like "Best Ever Chilli Prawn Pizza" and it sounded so good, I thought I should have a go at this home made base business.

Ingredients:

1 cup self raising flour
1 cup youghurt - natural or Greek.
Mix. It stuck to my hands furiously and I panicked. Added more flour. and then added more. And it began to come together. I added a little more and then began to knead. And it worked! I rolled it out and then just loved myself like crazy. I made a pizza base!

The pizza was delicious... The rest of it inlvoved:

Tomato sauce (not ketchup, you know, pizza sauce)
mozarella cheese
sliced cherry tomatoes
roasted capsicum
prawns sauteed in garlic
Salsa verde - basil, parsley, stale bread, olive oil, anchovies and capers whizzed up.
Chilli flakes

It was seriously so good!


Agggh, terrible photo. Anyway, it was divine and super easy!

4 November 2011

Early


He wakes up early, but he is so cute. That quiet, early morning time is precious and sweet.


I like the tissues above our heads in the photos, he's a snot boy, that is for sure.

2 November 2011

creative



Origami flowers, from a craft market.

Creativity. I aspire to be creative, I dream of it and imagine creating. I just don’t seem to do anything about it. I find myself all sorts of reasons and excuses, I don’t have enough room or money or time. I’m not good at it, I’m not original. I have no patience, I have no flair for colour or craft. I’m not organised.

I devour creative blogs. I wish to be a crafter, a quilter, a sewer, a photographer, a gardener, a thrifter, a designer, a graphics whizz, an interior decorator. But I'm not any of those things. How to grow and stretch in to these creative outlets? I feel overwhelmed by all the creativity out there and I feel like my little blob of a self cannot even begin to enter in to that world.

I save patterns and paper and scraps of felt and pin ideas and things I want to make and do but I just never DO them. Even my blog posts feel stilted and boring at the moment!

So how to move my creative juices? I need to actually absorb some of these ideas below, I think! How do you fire up your creativity?





cranky

She is a sweet, gorgeous thing but oh! Fiesty! Emotional! Curious and such hard work. She does not stop talking... even through the night, she chats away in her sleep.
Here she is, being cranky at me. Cranky pants tutu.


Last night she laughed and laughed hysterically. She looked like a little cherry tomato head, she was so red from the forced laughter, mixed in with the real stuff. It was kind of scary, and then. Pause. She was so highly charged, she burst in to tears! Itay and I tried so hard not to laugh, but she was just hysterical in a whole different way. I scooped her up, took her in to her room and lay on the bed with her. I breathed with her, skin to skin and tried to calm her energy. Then I completely changed the subject. After a few minutes, she was breathing slowly and just a little more relaxed.

Whoa... She is just so intense.

1 November 2011

Little creatures

Odd subject: insects. Obviously, they're everywhere. I grew up in the country, so not too many insects worry me. Spiders, bugs, crawly things, generally they don't bother me. Mosquitos, I do detest. I always have.

My girl is quite a sensitive little soul, and this sensitivity extends to her skin. Mosquitos adore her. They devour her and she swells immediately. We've had some terrible episodes where she has swelled and the bites have become infected. Her ballooning feet turned shades of purple and black before our eyes one night. I detest mozzies, and more so now my girl reacts so badly to them.

The mozzie thing has made M a little bit of a scardy cat when it comes to insects. She knows what happens when she is bitten by mozzies and so she tends to freak out about all insects. Imagine her reaction when we spotted this enormous mozzie:


Then just one day later, she found a tiny grasshopper when we were mowing and gardening. Lily, her name was, apparently. Lily the grasshopper. It was love.


She is just too funny. "Oh Mummy, look at her! She loves me! Isn't she sweet! I am going to keep her and make a bed for her and feed her grass and oh, she's staring at me!"


So, insects are cool again. Meanwhile, the small boy finds ants and brings them to me. "More ants, Mum". I have to take them from him and put them... well, somewhere,. Bin. Back on the ground. Then my fingers taste like ant. Not that I put them in my mouth too often, unlike the boy, who sucks his thumb. Ugh, ant tastes bad. Ever tried it?